Sunday , March 7 2021

Director Zero Escape Reveals Virtual Pop Idol of the Next Game

You can recognize Kotaro Uchikoshi from his work directing the games Zero Escape (999, Last Reward of Virtue, and Zero Time Dilemma), and you may be familiar with Spike Chunsoft's Danganronpa Murder Mystery series. But it looks like they are making an unexpected move related to their next game. They are promoting their own virtual pop idol and influencer. What time to be alive.

Iris Sagan, also referred to by his stage names A-set or Tesa, is considered an important character in the upcoming Uchikoshi and Spike Chunsoft game, AI: The Somnium Files. It is worth noting that its design comes from artist Yusuke Kozaki, who is best known for his character designs in Fire Emblem Awakening (including Fates and Heroes) and No More Heroes series.

Apparently, Iris is a great streamer, pop star of the internet and an 18 year old high school student all at the same time. And it looks like she has an active Twitter account next to a video in which Uchikoshi-san himself comically presents A-set, followed by a kind of video clip that shows her dancing and singing to an original song (feel free to see for yourself below).

I'd like to consider myself a bit of authority on digital pop idols, as I still believe that Rise Kujikawa (Persona 4) and Hatsune Miku are the gold standard – so my fandom sets the bar high. But I will not write Iris (or A-set) yet, especially if it connects to a larger narrative for AI: The Somnium Files.

AI: The Somnium Files was first revealed during a panel at Anime Expo 2018, and Iris was first introduced as a key character. Not much has been said about the game itself, but it shares similarities with previous developer games; you will play as Kaname Date and investigate a series of murders that will involve solving puzzles and collecting evidence that we hope will lead to solid conclusions. It's ready to be released for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC sometime this year.

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